Cheer­lead­ing is not all glam­our

Auckland City Harbour News - - Sport - By Re­becca Rassie

Be­ing a cheer­leader is more than pom poms, flips, leaps and high­kicks.

On top of work­ing or study­ing full­time the 20 women who make up the Auck­land Blues SkyC­ity cheer­lead­ing team com­plete a tough train­ing regime.

Cheer­leader Lucy Turner says the train­ing is hard work, but hav­ing danc­ing ex­pe­ri­ence helps a lot.

“When we’re learn­ing a dance we go through the move­ments re­ally quickly and you’ve just got to keep up.

“The girls in the team were cho­sen be­cause they picked up on move­ments eas­ily,” Miss Turner says.

The team trains at Re­muera In­ter­me­di­ate School for four hours a week, and prac­tises for two hours be­fore each game.

Time is also spent on groom­ing and “glam­ming up” for the per­for­mance.

Smokey eyes and soft curls are all part of the SkyC­ity cheer team’s look, as the girls aim to give off a sexy yet so­phis­ti­cated ap­pear­ance.

“Hav­ing a spray tan and fake eye­lashes is all part of the uni­form,” says Miss Turner, from Pon­sonby.

“We all went to hair and makeup tu­to­ri­als to be taught how to do our­selves up prop­erly by the pro­fes­sion­als.”

But looking gor­geous and be­ing able to fit into a tiny uni­form isn’t what cheer­lead­ing is all about.

Squad chore­og­ra­pher Claire Bax­ter knows this group of young women have a lot more to of­fer.

“Most of the girls have an in­cred­i­ble skill base be­hind them.

“They’re not only pro­fes­sional dancers, but girls who run marathons and study at uni­ver­sity.

“One team mem­ber also en­joys her job as

Pho­tos: RE­BECCA RASSIE

Hard work: Lucy Turner is a cheer­leader for the Auck­land Blues SkyC­ity Cheer­lead­ers.

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